Another welder advice thread

   #1  

FTG-05

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As if we didn't need another "what to buy" welder, but unfortunately - I need your advice.

My Lincoln SP-175Plus MIG welder just bit the dust. I turned it on this afternoon and all I got out of it was a mild groan, then... nothing. I've had it since mid-1999, so I got my use out of it.

Hence, as I see it, I have three options:

A. Do without a welder (assumes I can't find a welder fixer or the Lincoln can't be fixed)
B. Find a half decent cheapy welder and use it as a bridge-gap welder until the Lincoln is fixed (assumes the Lincoln can and will be fixed at some point)
C. Upgrade to above a +SP-175 Plus-class welder i.e. something with quite a bit more capability.

Option A ain't happenin', sorry I won't live without a welder.

Option B is a HF special (Titanium?) or equivalent, something that will keep me welding until the Lincoln is back up and running. Obviously, this option is betting that the Lincoln can be fixed. If so, the cheapy becomes the Low End welder, while the Lincoln becomes the High End (read thicker) welder. Another problem is while I'm ok with a cheapy 120 VAC welder, I really don't want a 120 VAC Flux Core-only welder.

Option C is an upgrade over the Lincoln; if the Lincoln gets fixed, great it now becomes the .25" welding wire Low End welder; while the new one takes over the High End .35" duties.

Option B welders include the various HF products, although most of them are on back order, sort of defeating the purpose here. Everlast is an option, but their bottom of the line is more than I want to spend on a BOL welder.

Option C is looking better and better: I'm thinking a Miller 211 for $1500 or so. I wish I could spring for a Miller 255 but +$3K isn't in the cards. :(


So bottom line, two questions:

- Are there other options I'm missing?
- Alternatives to the mentioned Low End and High End welders and limits discussed above?

Thanks!
 
   #2  

DL Meisen

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Hobart Handler 190 if you don't need dual voltage (120/240) .... I have a Hobart Handler 140 its been good for 8 years and does 95% of my welding (120VAC machine), wished I had gotten the Hobart Handler 210MPV though...

 
   #3  

1 of U

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look on Craigslist or Face book marketplace for or a good deal on a 250 amp , they are there bought my Hobart 250 mig out of a hot rod shop that was closing down 650.00 cash . the color of the machine doesnt bother me as my field welder is Red and the shop welders are Blue ..
 
  
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#4  
OP
FTG-05

FTG-05

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look on Craigslist or Face book marketplace for or a good deal on a 250 amp , they are there bought my Hobart 250 mig out of a hot rod shop that was closing down 650.00 cash . the color of the machine doesnt bother me as my field welder is Red and the shop welders are Blue ..
CL is an option but not a plan due to the scarcity of decent machines coupled with the flakiness of it's users. I don't use FB.
Hobart Handler 190 if you don't need dual voltage (120/240) .... I have a Hobart Handler 140 its been good for 8 years and does 95% of my welding (120VAC machine), wished I had gotten the Hobart Handler 210MPV though...

The Handler 180 is pretty close to the Lincoln SP-175 in terms of output etc. I'm looking for the extremes: either smaller or larger, not duplicate.

Now the Hobart IronMan 240 caught my eye. It represents a significant upgrade over the SP-175, Handler, 180 or 210 and the Miller 211.

Comments on Hobart quality?
 
   #5  

rangerfredbob

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I have a Titanium MIG 175 that I got open box for super cheap, I've been trying to kill it and it just doesn't seem to care... I've ran it off a cheap Champion 4kw generator hard enough to stall the generator, ran it off a couple other generators, ran it on a GFI outlet that gave out while welding and put probably 15 pounds of flux core wire through it. It welds great, done everything I've asked of it...

That said, I've heard good things about Everlast too...
 
   #6  

Sberry

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The Hobart is super good and would be on my short list if I was in the market for this type of machine. Its full size, full chassis and holds big spool and big bottle and will repay its cost vs a smaller unit if used much. its 2x plus a 210 MVP compact.
 
  
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#7  
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FTG-05

FTG-05

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I have a Titanium MIG 175 that I got open box for super cheap, I've been trying to kill it and it just doesn't seem to care... I've ran it off a cheap Champion 4kw generator hard enough to stall the generator, ran it off a couple other generators, ran it on a GFI outlet that gave out while welding and put probably 15 pounds of flux core wire through it. It welds great, done everything I've asked of it...

That said, I've heard good things about Everlast too...
I've heard good things about the HF Titanium welders. Unfortunately, their website says late Sept to mid-Oct before they ship on anything. :(

I have an Everlast 120 vac plasma cutter; I've had it for 3-4 years now. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another Everlast.

However, the problem with Everlast is that their higher end MIGs are all multi-process which I neither need nor want. The other problem is that their low end MIG welders are too expensive or too much performance for low end work or more than I want to pay.
 
  
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#8  
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FTG-05

FTG-05

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The Hobart is super good and would be on my short list if I was in the market for this type of machine. Its full size, full chassis and holds big spool and big bottle and will repay its cost vs a smaller unit if used much. its 2x plus a 210 MVP compact.
I talked to my local professional welder this morning. He said Hobart was Miller without the frills and dressings. Otherwise a pretty good machine for a DIYer, hobbyist etc, not a professional or an industrial environment. I'm ok with that.

If I decide to upgrade, the Hobart Ironman 240 is on the short list. Unfortuantely, they are all on back order as well. NT says ships in 5-8 business days but I bet it's closer to 5-8 weeks. :(
 
   #9  

jaxs

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If you've had occasions when you felt the need fo butr larger wire and/or amps,the Ironman sound's like a good choice. If the Lincoln is repairable,it could stay loaded with small soilid wire and gas ready for thin materials while the Ironman does everything else. If the Lincoln turn's out to be unrepairable,you can switch wires on the Ironman or keep an eye out for a small machine to dedicate to thin material to save changing settings on the Iron M. If you aren't planning to weld more than 1/4",I'd try and get something used that could be resold if and when Lincoln is fixed. I have a Lincoln Pro-Mig 180 that I love but rarly need to weld more than !/4". When I weld thicker,I take time to bevel and make multiple passes. If I did it every day I'd step up to a larger machine.
I've seen more than one Ironman in professional shops so they are evidently a good machine.
 
  
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#10  
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FTG-05

FTG-05

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I took my SP-175 to an electric shop yesterday morning. It's where the local welder sends his equipment for repair.

On their front door were several stickers and labels; two of them were for Miller Welder Parts and Service, the other Lincoln Electric. They did not bat an eyelash over repairing my SP, so I think I'm in good hands. And $10 says it's going to be something super-stupid simple like a thermistor or equivalent.

I also have a line on a small 125 vac MIG through my bricklayer. Hopefully he gets back to me today and it's still for sale.
 
 
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